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Saturday 17 May 2014

Minutes of Residents' Association Committee Meeting May 6th 2014

Andy Gibbs; Alice Hawkins; Terry Heyes; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam; Rona Taylor; Diane Swindells; Faith Ward; Mary Webb.

In attendance:
Claire Turner representing the Parish Council; Cllr Marcus Stewart; Cheryl  Wall representing the Village Hall committee; and Cllr John Whitehouse.

Rona welcomed everyone, in particular Cheryl and Claire. Diane would usually represent the Village Hall committee. Marcus and John were attending to discuss petitioning.

Apologies had been received from Hilary Cox.

1. Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising:

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.

Matters arising:

The "Jubilee verge" had been cut and it had been arranged to leave a foot from the fence clear for the poppies.  It was pointed out that the contractors always forgot to cut the verges in Hodgett's Lane.
Action: Rona

2. Residents' views/ concerns

Apart from the Hodgett's Lane verges, there were no other concerns.

3. Treasurer's Report and dates for £3 collection:

Terry went through the report (attached).
He said routine expenditure had taken place with the only unusual item being ticket printing for the summertime jazz event.  There would be further expenditure shortly such as the hire of toilets for the event.

Public liability insurance was due costing £344.50. This was usually split with the HS2 action group but they had decided they no longer needed insurance.  It was decided renegotiation should take place with regard to the cost and Lesley Tacon would be asked to look into this. She would also be asked to find out if the volunteer deliverers were covered by the insurance.Insurance for the toilets was already in place.
Action: Rona and Lesley

Collection of residents' subscriptions was discussed. Mary was insistent that committee members should attempt collection on several occasions to ensure as much money was brought in as possible. The "envelope system" which had been helpful last year would be used again.  Mary would contact the additional volunteer deliverers to see which of then would be prepared to collect money. She would then allocate patches not covered.
Action: Mary

Thanks were extended to the Parish Council for the cheque for £270 towards the cost of the Bugle. Judi would send an acknowledgment by email.
Action: Judi

Thanks were given to Terry.

4. Petitioning:

Thanks were extended to Andy, Marcus and John for their excellent work and collaborative activities to pull together draft petitions.  The draft for BGRA was circulated.

A number of petitions making same the point were considered important.  Many issues needed to be addressed including the proposal for a deep bored tunnel.  The aim of a petition was to highlight issues and not to provide solutions.

It was hoped that the Parish Council would also be submitting a petition which would be similar but each petition would have a different emphasis. Marcus outlined the technical problems that the Parish Council had faced but he was hopeful that these would be overcome.

The Action group had decided not to petition but to support individuals who were submitting petitions.

It was proposed that the committee authorise the deposition of the petition against the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) bill

Proposed: Andy Gibbs
Seconded: Diane Swindells
Accepted unanimously.

Andy explained the role of Agent A and Agent B.  The former tended to be lawyers who could present the petitioners' case but at great cost.  The latter could just be an upstanding person such as a magistrate or solicitor.

A local organisation needed to have an agent of one kind or the other (whereas individuals did not need to do so.) The Residents' Association could have an Agent B but would need to give them a certificate of authorisation.  A member or official of the organisation could also represent.

Marcus was still working on the draft document but could guarantee the petition would be ready and submitted on May 22nd.  The committee just needed to appoint an agent B and agree the submission.

John said questions regarding compensation were not within the scope of the hybrid bill, even though these were the issues with which many residents were most concerned. Andy felt it was wrong to say to residents cannot mention compensation. Would the inclusion devalue the petition?  It was felt best to ask an Agent A for advice or the matter could be included in a preamble. Compensation would form part of the next consultation.

Marcus was asked how the Select Committee works.  He explained he had only attended such a committee as an expert witness but the committee was small (about six members) and they would ask questions of the petitioner. The Agent would be asked to highlight areas of concern and what was being asked for and could provide additional detail to the written evidence. Extra written evidence such as maps and pictures could be presented a few days before an appointment to appear.

Jeremy Wright MP had offered to be a witness but those present did not know how many witnesses could be offered.  John Whitehouse would check this.
Action: John.

With regard to other petitions, it was believed a number of individuals would be submitting petitions.  The Village Hall committee was considering putting in a petition, as was Burton Green School, the Greenway Trust and the University of Warwick.

The final petition from BGRA would be required by May 16th and Marcus would deliver it to Jeremy Wright who had agreed to present it in London. There needed to be four copies, two cover sheets, a letter of authority and various other documents as specified on the website for the HS2 hybrid bill.

It was accepted by the committee that Rona Taylor should represent the BGRA as agent B and present the petition and that Andy Gibbs would be her technical supporter.

This was proposed by Judi Hibberd, seconded by Faith Ward and unanimously accepted.

The question of supporters or witnesses was to be checked with the parliamentary outreach group by John Whitehouse.
Action: John

Judi would circulate an electronic copy of the petition for any further comments.
Action: Judi

5. Update on and discussion of Residents’ Association initiatives and issues:

Speedwatch. Terry reported there was a presence once a week at least.  He felt the operation might be taking effect as the number of vehicles being recorded had dropped.  They were still trying to get some further sites authorised by the police.

28th September afternoon tea with World War 1 theme. Ideas were still requested as to what could happen. Nigel Ward's choir would be happy to support singing. The event needed to be well marketed.  Everyone was asked to give this thought prior to the next meeting when it would be discussed in detail.
Action: all

6. Opposition to solar farm on Nailcote Farm:

Rona had enquired that morning and the firm still hadn't submitted an application.  It appeared they were investigating whether the electricity could feed into the Hodgett's Lane sub station and if not Tile Hill. Rona had discussed the matter with Jeremy Wright MP and had asked Solihull to make the case as Burton Green was most affected. A sub group comprising Terry, Mary, Rona, Archie and Sue and Nick Hogue had been meeting.

It was remarked that the coalition government seemed to be turning against solar farms. There had been interest in the media about the potential for solar farms to protect wildlife.  Marcus referred to a best practice document from the Solar Research Association and BRE and said the proposal did not meet any of its criteria. He also spoke about the current government subsidy for solar farms which might soon be changed and this could influence developers to act quickly in advance if change.

Terry had produced a panorama of what the landscape could look like if the solar farm went ahead.

Rona agreed to produce some information to send out with the parish plan. She said once an application had been submitted, Jeremy Wright was willing to write in opposition on our behalf.  Residents would also be asked to write personal letters.
Action: Rona

Mary asked what the land was graded as and Diane had seen this within the Local Plan and would report back.
Action: Diane.

Marcus said he was willing to help.

7. Jubilee 2011 group June 14th Jazz on the Green:

Ticket sales were not good yet. Anyone requiring tickets to sell should contact Mary.
Action: all

8. Parish Plan:

The Plan was at the printers. It was hoped it would be available soon.

9.  Village Hall:

The art exhibition went very well.

The plaque had now been put up as requested.

A meeting was to be held with HS2 on Friday. There was no written agreement with HS2 as yet so the committee could not afford to proceed with architects etc until they knew the position. It had also not been established where a new hall would be sited.

10.  HS2 opposition Group:

There was nothing additional to report as petitioning had been discussed in full.  Andy said that the express purchase scheme was in operation. The VPZ concept still did not exist.  All subjects were subject to further consultation probably in the autumn.

11. Parish Council's Report:

The Parish Annual Meeting was to be held on Friday at 7:30pm with an open agenda to include items of any interest to residents.
The next formal parish council meeting would be on May 19th.

12. Any Other Business:

The Cromwell Lane dog waste bin had not been emptied but after questioning it had now been done.  Bron would ensure the contractors were reminded in the future.
Action: Bron

Problems with water being cut off had resulted in the school having to close for half a day.  Rona had queried this with Severn Trent.

A question was asked about the number of people on the email loop and the answer was 148 people out of over 400 households in the village.

13. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting:

The next committee meeting would take place on July 8th at 7.30p.m.at the Village Hall.
Future meetings would be as follows:

September 16th
October 6th AGM
November 18th

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